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10 Of The Best Core Strengthening Exercises

Did you know that there is more to your core than just your abdominals? The hip muscles, pelvic muscles, lower and mid back muscles all make up your core, and the importance of building your core strength goes way beyond having washboard abs

10 exercises for a strong core

Many compound lifts such as squats or deadlifts do strengthen the core to some extent, but that doesn't mean you should avoid doing specific core strengthening exercises! Doing specific core muscle exercises allows you to target the muscles to a greater degree, and makes it easier to progressively overload them (which is crucial for building muscle!).

The benefits of a strong core include:

  • Preventing lower back pain
  • Better balance, coordination, and stability
  • Improved posture
  • Increased athletic performance
  • Better functional fitness
  • Potential to build a defined waist and abs

Not sure where to begin when building a strong core? We've shared ten of our favourite core strengthening exercises. Use them together as a core strength workout, or split up and added to your current training routine.

10 exercises for a strong core

  1. Kick throughs

    This full-body move works not only your abs and obliques but your shoulders, back, glutes and hamstrings too! It's a great move to challenge your core stability, by adding an unstable rotation to the mix.

  2. Figure 4 crunch

    Supercharge your crunches with this figure 4 variation, putting more emphasis on your abs (specifically your rectus abdominis) and getting a glute stretch in there too.

  3. Deadbugs

    Deadbugs are a great low impact exercise to strengthen and stabilise your core, back muscles, and your pelvic floor - while working on your coordination too!

  4. Hover

    Much like a plank, the hover challenges your whole core with an isometric hold while also firing up your shoulders, hips and glutes. It's a great exercise to work on your balance too!

  5. Single leg jackknife

    This core exercise is commonly seen in pilates and works not only the abs but the glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors and lower back too. It's challenging, but really fires up your core in new ways!

  6. Around the worlds

    This is a great upper body move that also targets your abs and obliques. The medicine ball adds instability, firing up your core to help stabilise and support the movement.

  7. DB oblique crunch

    Switch it up from floor exercises and give this standing oblique crunch a go. The dumbbell adds a greater stimulus to the exercise, so your obliques have to work harder for every rep!

  8. Bird dog

    Bird dog is a great full-body move that works not only your core but your lower back, glutes, legs and shoulders to challenge your core stability, spinal stabilisation and help to improve posture.

  9. Hip dips

    Add a little spice to your classic plank with this hip dip variation, using hip rotation to further engage your abs and obliques. It also challenges your balance and stability!

  10. Plank marches

    This awesome core exercise has the added benefit of firing up your glutes and legs too by adding alternating leg lifts into your classic plank position.

These exercises are great for everyone, from beginners through to seniors! Simply adjust the reps to make these more or less challenging. If you're in a wheelchair, check out our core strengthening exercises for wheelchair users for more options.

Ready to build your core strength? Find your nearest PureGym and get started today.

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